Marker Details

Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church

215 Medina

Houston , 77012

Listed in THC Atlas with minimal information, not searchable
Directions: From Loop 610, west on SH 225, north/right on Broadway, after going under the RR underpass, three more blocks and then left west/left on Sycamore, 1 block to Medina & turn north/right; marker is in landscaped area to the left of the chapel

Key Time Period: 1866 - 1876 Reconstruction

Corretions/New Research:

Marker Text: In 1866, former slave William Burley came to Harrisburg to minister to newly-emancipated African Americans. He purchased property for a home and a church at the intersection of Sycamore and Fennell Streets along the banks of Brays Bayou. The church was named the Methodist Episcopal Church of Harrisburg. The Freedmen’s Bureau, a federal agency dedicated to helping former slaves, sponsored a community school on the church grounds until 1870. This early African-American public school was a predecessor of a late 1800s Harrisburg School.

Throughout the 20th Century, the church served as a focal point for the area’s black community. The Loving Band of Hope, a group dedicated to assisting Harrisburg’s African-American residents, often convened on church grounds. The congregation modified its name several times, first changing to Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church of Harrisburg in 1900 to distinguish itself from another congregation. In 1926, when Houston annexed Harrisburg, the church became Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church, in honor of noted Bishop Francis Asbury. In 1929, the church moved to 215 Medina Street and in subsequent years added additional property. Additional name changes occurred in 1939 and in 1968, when the institution became known as Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church. Noted members included Savannah Georgia Kay, a civic leader who made significant contributions to education in Harrisburg; Tom Blue, who was a former slave of Sam Houston’s; and Wilson Burley, who served in the 84th U.S. Colored Infantry during the Civil War. Today, Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church continues to serve as a spiritual leader in Houston. (2009)

Marker is property of the State of Texas
Marker Type: Marker with Post
Historical Org: Texas Historical Commission (THC)

Key Map Information: 535 B

GPS Coordinates: 29 43.530, 95 16.787

Precinct No: 2

Marker No: 15730